The promises can be found in the Big Book on pages 83-84. There are a total of twelve promises and when I review them, I find that many have been fulfilled in my life. I still struggle from time to time – I am still that alcoholic – but now when I read these promises I realize how blessed my life really is. Here is the list: “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development:
1.We will be amazed before we are halfway through.
2.We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3.We will not regret the past not wish to shut the door on it.
4.We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace.
5.We will see how our experience can benefit others.
6.That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7.We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8.Self-seeking will slip away.
9.Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10.Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
11.We will intuitively know how to handle situations which use to baffle us.
12.We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
Aren’t they wonderful? Talk about freedom. Just reading them inspires me. So to that end I will close this daily and get on with living this wonderful life.
I can clearly see Steps One, Two, and Three in the Serenity Prayer. Step One calls for acceptance of my condition, and my powerlessness to do anything about it. Step Two asks that I change my “source” of power, from myself to this Power greater than my disease. Step Three is what made the difference for me, recovery is more than abstinence, it’s a new way of living. It’s a spiritual program designed for those of us who are addicted to alcohol. I was unused to meditating and had to work at it. But I have had good experiences with it – it’s like a warm embrace from God, I feel so peaceful afterwards. I try to focus on any problems I may be encountering, and try to “feel” the right path I am seeking, with regard to the problem. I ask God for guidance, that I might then be of service to the God of my understanding. I sit quietly, and work to remain thankful for all the blessings God has granted me. I do deep breathing exercises and concentrate on the in and out of the air in my body. This helps me keep on track, and open to God’s gentle nudges.
Looking, admitting and accepting is not something I do naturally. Usually, it is a second thought; a taking responsibility for, after re-thinking a situation or event. When I reflect back on my actions I can see where I have not fully accepted the responsibility for the events in my life. This is true especially when those events have resulted in behaviors that affected others negatively. I want to blame others, and I am so deluded that I talk myself into believing that I have little to no responsibility for what has occurred. It’s someone else’s fault – and I can get a bad case of the “if only’s,” to justify my part, if I acknowledge that I have a part, at all. In my early years it always seemed easier to just blame others, than it was to accept responsibility. Through the process of recovery I have learned what is mine and what is not mine, when it comes to being responsible. Just for today, I am free of justification.
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends—this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 89
To know that each newcomer with whom I share has the opportunity to experience the relief that I have found in this Fellowship fills me with joy and gratitude. I feel that all the things described in A.A. will come to pass for them, as they have for me, if they seize the opportunity and embrace the program fully.
When I was new to the Program I heard many words, phrases and thoughts of others. When I started to read the Big Book, it took me a while to comprehend what was being said, and then later, how that related to recovery. Then there were all those conversations before and after the meetings. I wanted to hear, and I wanted to know how the words related to recovery from alcoholism. At first, it was all a mystery to me. When I was with a group of members, I would listen closely to the words being said, and then later I would ponder on those words and how they meant something to others. I don’t agree with the idea that newcomers should take the cotton out of their ears and put it in their mouths. Newcomers may not have a clear understanding of the Program, but expressing how they feel is important for them, and a reminder to those present of what it was like then, and how it is now. Listening is important and when we’re talking we can’t hear very well.
Service is what keeps the doors open, and affords others a place to meet and share our experience strength and hope with each other. There are several levels of A.A. when it comes to maintaining the Program. Basically, it is the individual Fellowships that “drive” the Program. Some members work to keep the Program operating at a level which affords those in need the opportunity to become a part of something that has worked for countless alcoholics. All are welcome. We are an inclusive group, not exclusive. Although we do stress the need to make the meetings safe and welcoming. We, as a group, adhere closely to the teachings of the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions and the Twelve Concepts. We do not invite outside interests, nor religious issues to dictate our “path.” Ours is a Spiritual program of recovery.
We join hands at the end of our meetings to “say” that we never have to do this thing called recovery, alone. There will always be someone there to share the trials, tribulations, and joys of recovery from alcoholism. This is a “we” program. I cannot get and stay sober alone – but together we can – and do! I cannot begin to count the number of people I have met through recovery meetings, conferences, and assemblies of many sorts. There continues to be new Fellowships rising up all the time.